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The "15 Second Kiss" Experiment - Fierce Marriage

This is one of the more powerful things I’ve read about marriage. It made me go, “oh my goodness duh, how have I not thought about this before?”

My husband and I are extremely busy people and a kiss turns into a routine things, leaving the house- quick kiss, going to bed- quick kiss, heading out for the day together- quick kiss. Intimate moments (yes, sex), when we actually share a real, long kiss I always feel like I need it. I realize most of you must be thinking, uh duh it’s kissing! But it’s the closeness that gets to me, a closeness you don’t feel in those routine, without a thought, kisses. It reminds me of certain feelings and boosts my mood to a new level. 

I always tell my husband that I love kissing him, really kissing him but I’ve never noticed why nor have I ever seen it in actual words. I think this is an awesome idea and something I definitely want to try. 

-Veronica

Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.
Bob Marley

shared finances.

I believe that being on the same page about money is absolutely crucial to a healthy marriage. Marriage is a partnership, in every way, and that includes finances! If you haven’t yet, sit down and talk about all things money.. spending, savings, debt, loans, and credit cards. And continue talking as disagreements or problems arise. For some, this can be a difficult and uncomfortable topic which is part of why it goes overlooked. Even though it can take some work, you’ll thank yourself later. Following Ashley and Veronica’s tips can be very helpful.

I’m going to pick up where Veronica left off and talk about one of the most challenging parts of merging finances, which is who is in charge of the bills and expenses. Everyone is different and are in different situations so, again, talk and do what is best for you and your spouse. Here are a few approaches on expenses and accounts:

- I’m old fashioned and believe we’re in this together so Wyatt and I combine finances completely and have joint savings and checking accounts and the things we purchase are in both our names. It’s truly “what’s mine is yours”.

- a few couples I know have separate accounts and they pick certain expenses and bills that they’re each in charge of paying for.

- another approach is keeping all of your finances separate and having one joint account that you each contribute to equally. or you each contribute an equal percentage of the money you bring in.

- some people have one income and that person pays for all the expenses. other people have two incomes but one person pays for all the expenses and then they both use the other income for savings and extra spending.

Regardless of the approach you choose for your expenses, remember that you are a team and you should always work and talk together.

-Brittany

Money Talk: Part 2

Ashley discussed the finances and marriage along with the importance of sharing financial history, being open, honest and having a strategy. I totally agree and would like to add to her post here. 

Fun (not so fun) Fact: Serious financial worries among couples are associated with increased hostility in husbands, increased depression in wives, and lower marital happiness in both husband and wives. Even when financial resources are plentiful, money can be a source of marital strain. 

Growing up, neither of our families had much money at all. We grew up fully aware of the many things we could not have and more importantly, what we could live without. We took what we learned from our early years and went in complete directions, extreme direction. I’ll be discussing balance, support and smarts. 

1. Balance
One extreme to another, it can be difficult to save money and/or experience life. Extreme Saver vs Extreme Spender. We balance each other out, it’s important to know when and why to spend/save money. Is it worth it? Communication is so important in creating financial balance. Talk to your spouse, open up and be able to talk to each other about what you want but also what you need. 

2. Support
Make it clear that you will stand by your significant other no matter what. My husband and I always say, “I’d live in a box if I had to, if it meant we were there together.” We encourage each other in our careers and have been able to open up to one another about troubles at work. Quitting jobs, new jobs, internships, lower pay, and less hours are all things you may experience in a marriage, especially a young marriage. No matter what, we support each other’s decisions and pick up slack for our spouse if need be. 

3. Smarts
Discuss what is important to each of you. Often times you’ll be faced with this or that situations, what you should or shouldn’t spend your money on, especially when it comes to unexpected expenses such as car troubles, college, babies and all those surprises! Be smart about what you should and shouldn’t spend your savings on. 

Every marriage is different, some people have separate bank accounts as well as a joint account, some keep only separate accounts and others have a joint account and a joint savings account. No matter how you store your finances know that it’s our money not my money. These words could cause a lot of trouble in a marriage and can turn an disagreement from bad to worse. 

-Veronica

Finances & Marriage

We’ve wrapped up the “difficult conversations” topic with 4 different viewpoints. The next topic the wives will be discussing is dealing with finances in your marriage. 

I’m sure we’ve all heard that financial stress can be a “break it” situation in a marriage. Countless marriages have ended because of financial stress or the two not being able to communicate effectively on the topic. Hopefully our perspectives and experience will help shed some light so you and your spouse can have a strong communication base when it comes to finances.

My husband and I came from pretty different backgrounds when it comes to managing finances. I had a savings account with $500 in it before I was born and continued to add to it for 18 years to prepare for college. When my husband got to college time, he had maybe $1,000 to his name. Obviously, we grew up a little differently in terms of saving and spending.

We lived together for a year before we got married and that’s really when the financial conversations started. We were both student teaching at the time, didn’t have jobs, but still had to pay rent. I think because we were so strapped for money, it made it easy for us to both say, “Okay, we need to cut down our spending and save as much as we can.” My husband was always very open and eager to learn new ways of saving that he never learned growing up. Today, we own a house while still paying off his college debt and we only have one salary, but we make it work. Here are my quick tips from what works in our marriage:

  1. Share both of your financial histories together. Talk about whether you got allowance growing up, if you discussed savings accounts when you were a kid, what the spending was like in your individual families. This helps each of you understand where the other may be coming from.
  2. Make a plan for your own financial strategy. After you know your histories, put your heads together and take the best ideas from both sides to create your own plan — together — as a couple. Make goals together of how you want to spend or save your money.
  3. Don’t assume & update. Typically, one person will be doing most of the managing of the bank account. Talk about who that will be and make sure there are no assumptions of what the other person is doing. In my marriage, I keep track of the budget, track our spending, pay the bills, etc. My husband and I talked about this ahead of time. He knows what I’m doing and will regularly check with me to see how things are going, rather than just assuming everything is fine. And I regularly update him on where we’re at with our budget.
  4. Always be open and honest. This is self-explanatory. Just do it. Regularly communicate and be honest about your goals and expectations.

- Ashley

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